Wednesday, February 20, 2019

S3 Expedition To The Barrier Peaks By Gary Gygax As Old School & OSR Campaign Jump Point!

Yesterday was the type of day that can test my last nerve. I loath driving long distances but a client needed some specialized work done on a sewing machine. But a friend had something waiting for me when I got home. This post from F.A.T.A.L. & Friends outlining the classic 1979 TSR catalog.

This catalog answered a lot of questions that I had as a kid. Why were Boot Hill, Gamma World first Edition, & Advanced Dungeons & Dragons all cross compatible with each other?! The answer of course was that Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was their money maker & already the foundation was laid with each of the various conventions acting as the 'marketing' & advertising factor. Its interesting to me to see the various TSR classics are already in the mix here. Original Dungeons & Dragons is still going strong at this point as well but Basic is right there to introduce new players to the grand game.

Boot Hill & Gamma World both share certain themes some of which I've exploited in the past. To a certain extent these themes are the taming of a wilderness & being pioneers in the wastelands . These are PC's who are a cut above the norm but are able to bring an end to the darkness around them. With BootHill these are the paper veneer heroes of Fifties TV Westerns with the AD&D first edition combat engine. Boot Hill is downright deadly. It captures the fatality of the Fifties television Western in spades.

Gamma World 1st edition by James Ward is the companion with player's PC's generated to be hardier & able to take on but still get taken down by many mutated menaces of the wastelands. 
This opens up all kinds of possibilities for the dungeon master to exploit. S3 Expedition to the Barrier Peaks By Gary Gygax gives the players a point of adventure that he or she can exploit to draw & drop PC's into the thick of things in a fantasy setting.

Expedition To the Barrier Peaks is the perfect way of adding in the classic  fantasy elements and blending them into a science fantasy campaign with out batting eye especially in the wastelands.  Its essentially the perfect way to take the first edition Monster Manual & the Fiend Folio & create the outlay of a mutated fantasy wasteland.

My point here is that even before Metamorphosis Alpha first edition came out there were already old school gamers using Gamma World with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition in their own campaigns.

S3 Expediation To The Barrier Peaks gives a pivot point for combining the fantasy in with the harder elements of the science fantasy for one solid take on doing a complete campaign within itself. This basically means that you could be running into displacer beasts with additional mutations or a Bulette of gigantic proportions that could wreck city blocks!

So what happens if the location of the Warden disrupts the local space time continuum?! Simple answer is that a modern day realm of mutated & pulp heroes has to put things right. That being said S3 Expediation to the Barrier Peaks could be used as the touch stone for a comic book style fantasy  crossover with say a Mutant Future & Troll Lord Games Amazing Adventures! Rpg campaign? 
Oh I've heard it all about how OSR & old school games don't mix & I know its bunch of manure.

Case in point is the fact that the Fiend Folio's Adherer gets a make over in Amazing Adventurer's Manual of Monsters. The pulp version is much darker & right in line with many of the themes to Gary Gygax's S3 Expedition to The Barrier Peaks.

So imagine that the Warden comes down inside Europe or South America or God forbidden central Asia & starts dumping off AD&D first edition monsters into the wilderness. All of time & space becomes at risk as the hyper drives of the warden begin to malfunction & cause planar warps.  Weird visiters from other worlds begin to stumble into Earth & the mutated wasteland around the Warden begins to expand. Can the heroes shut down the engines before this Earth becomes a horror show for the Earth's inhabitants?! Well this leads to other things & very dire events coming up! 

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